Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ali Asghar Manuchehrabadi


Age: 38
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: September, 1988
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Apostasy; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

The information about Mr. Ali Asghar Manuchehrabadi has been taken from an electronic form sent to Omid by an individual familiar with this case, as well as the book The Martyrs of the Tudeh Party of Iran by the Tudeh Party Publications. Information about the mass executions has been gathered by the Boroumand Foundation from the memoir of Ayatollah Montazeri, reports of human rights organizations, interviews with victims’ families, and witnesses’ memoirs.

Mr. Manuchehrabadi is one of the victims in the mass killings of political prisoners in 1988. The majority of the executed prisoners were members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). Other victims included members or sympathizers of Marxist-Leninist organizations, such as the Fedaiyan Khalq (Minority) and the Peykar Organization, which opposed the Islamic Republic, as well as the Tudeh Party and the Fedaiyan Khalq (Majority), which did not.

Mr. Manuchehrabadi, one of the seven children in his family, was a mechanical engineer and a graduate from Tehran Polytechnic University (today’s Amir Kabir University). When he was a university student he started his political activities in the Navid (the underground organization of the Tudeh Party). He then started working as the technical manager at the Jahan Chit factory in Karaj and continued his political activities. He got married in 1979 and had two children.

The Tudeh Party of Iran was created in 1941. Its ideology was Marxist-Leninist and it supported policies of the former Soviet Union. The Tudeh Party played a major role in Iran’s political scene until it was banned for the second time following the August 19, 1953 coup. After the 1979 Revolution, the Tudeh Party declared Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic regime revolutionaries and anti-imperialists and actively supported the new government. Although the Party never opposed the Islamic Republic, it became the target of government attacks in 1982 when most of the Party leaders and members were imprisoned.

Arrest and detention

According to the electronic form, Mr. Manuchehrabadi was arrested on May 1, 1983 around 10 p.m. The armed agents did not show him an arrest warrant. Although his newborn child needed help, they did not allow Mr. Manuchehrabadi to change the diapers. The agents searched the whole house, which was in chaos by the time they left, taking Mr. Manuchehrabadi with them.

Mr. Manuchehrabadi was interrogated at the Joint Committee. His family was unaware of his whereabouts for four months. He was then allowed to make a one-monite phone call to his family, but they still did not know where Mr. Manuchehrabadi was detained. His first visited took place in March 1984, more than ten months after his arrest, in a school. Mr. Manuchehrabadi was blindfolded and taken to this unknown location. The visist lasted for ten minutes. His interrogation continued for two years (electronic form).

After the initial visit, Mr. Manuchehrabadi was held incommunicado until the summer, when he was transferred to Evin prison. In Evin, he had visits every other week, but the visits were occasionally cancelled for various reasons. The prison authorities prevented Mr. Manuchehrabadi from writing letters to his family. Throughout his imprisonment, his family received only three postcards from him. According to the Tudeh Book, Mr. Manuchehrabadi was also kept in Qezelhesar prison; the dates and duration of his stay in this prison are not known.

Mr. Manuchehrabadi was tortured on various occasions. His feet were flogged and he lost sight of his left eye. In the spring of 1988, the prison guards throw him down the stairs, causing four of his teeth to break, as they transferred him to Gohardasht prison.


Mr. Ali Asghar Manuchehrabadi was tried and condemned to three years imprisonment in a court at Evin Prison (Tudeh book). The religious judge and the interrogator were present in this trial. Mr. Manuchehrabadi was denied the right to have an attorney and access to his file (electronic form). Specific details on the circumstances of the trials that led to the execution of Mr. Manuchehrabadi and thousands of other individuals in 1988 are not known. According to existing information, there was no official trial with the presence of an attorney and prosecutor. Those who were executed in 1988 were sent to a three-man committee consisting of a religious judge, a representative from the Intelligence Ministry, and a Public Prosecutor of Tehran. This committee asked the leftist prisoners some questions about their beliefs and whether or not they believed in God.

The relatives of political prisoners executed in 1988 refute the legality of the judicial process that resulted in thousands of executions throughout Iran. In their 1988 open letter to then Minister of Justice Dr. Habibi, they argue that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They note that an overwhelming majority of these prisoners had been tried and sentenced to prison terms, which they were either serving or had already completed serving when they were retried and sentenced to death.


At his first trial, Mr. Manuchehrabadi was charged with “membership in the Tudeh Party of Iran (electronic form). No charge has been publicly leveled against the victims of the 1988 mass executions. In their letters to the Minister of Justice (1988), and to the UN Special Rapporteur visiting Iran (February 2003), the families of the victims refer to the authorities accusations against the prisoners – accusations that may have led to their execution. These accusations include being “counter-revolutionary, anti-religion, and anti-Islam,” as well as being “associated with military action or with various [opposition] groups based near the borders.”

An edict of the Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, reproduced in the memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri, his designated successor, corroborates the reported claims regarding the charges against the executed prisoners. In this edict, Ayatollah Khomeini refers to members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization as “hypocrites” who do not believe in Islam and “wage war against God” and decrees that prisoners who still approve of the positions taken by this organization are also “waging war against God” and should be sentenced to death.

Defendants, who did not belong to the MKO may have been accused of being “anti-religion” for not having renounced his or her beliefs.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution contains no evidence provided against the defendant.


In their open letter, the families of the prisoners noted that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. The same letter, rebutting the accusation that these prisoners (from inside the prison) had collaborated with armed members of the Mojahedin Organization in clashes with armed forces of the Islamic Republic, states that such claims “are false considering the circumstances in prisons; for our children faced most difficult conditions [in the prison, with] visitation rights of once every 15 days, each visitation lasting ten minutes through a telephone from behind the glass window, and were deprived of any connection with the outside world. We faced such conditions for seven years, which proves the truth of our claim.”


No specific information is available about the verdict leading to this execution. Mr. Ali Asghar Manuchehrabadi was hanged during the mass killings of political prisoners at Evin Prison in September 1988. According to available information, leftist prisoners executed in 1988 were found to be “apostates.” Months after the executions, prison authorities informed the families about the executions and handed in the victims’ belongings to their families. The bodies, however, were not returned to them. The bodies were buried in mass graves. Authorities warned the families of prisoners against holding memorial ceremonies.

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